Monday, Monday. A bad day? Nah, Good when we go in the might, strength and the joy of the Lord.
1 Samuel 30:1-6
Flying ace Chuck Yeager wrote a book with this inviting title: Press On! A guy with his background, plus a chest full of medals to prove it, probably has a lot to say about “pressing on.” Few will ever know the thrill of breaking the sound barrier, but all of us live with the daily challenge of pressing on. The question is how?
How does the patient press on after the physician breaks the news about the dreaded biopsy? How does the divorcée press on after the divorce is final? How does anyone press on when the bottom drops out?
Not so recently I discovered some principles from Scripture that have certainly come to my rescue. They emerge from the life of David when he and his fellow warriors were returning from battle. Exhausted, dirty, and anxious to get home, they came upon a scene that took the wind of joy over recent victories out of their buoyant swagger. What was once their own quiet village was now smoldering ruins; their wives and children had been kidnapped by the same enemy forces that had burned their homes to the ground.
As if that were not bad enough, David’s own men turned against him, and talk of mutiny swirled among the soldiers.
If ever a man felt like hanging it up, David must have at that moment. But he didn’t.
What did he do instead? Read this very carefully: “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (1 Sam. 30:6).
“Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. 6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [a]grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
He got alone and poured his heart before the Lord . . . got things squared away vertically, which helped clear away the fog horizontally. He did not surrender to hard times.
Why not? How did he go on?
By refusing to focus on the present situation only.
What happens when we stay riveted to the present misery? One of two things: Either we blame someone (which can easily make us bitter), or we submerge in self-pity (which paralyzes us).
Instead of retaliating or curling up in a corner and licking his wounds, he called to mind that this event was no mistake. The Lord wasn’t absent. On the contrary, He was in full control. Bruised and bloody, David faced the test head-on and refused to throw down his weapons.
When we get quickly focused vertically,
it helps clear away the fog horizontally.